I was fortunate to meet Virginia Wills several years ago, and I had the pleasure and honor to co-speak with her last year at Food Blog South. Last fall, I attended an event in Atlanta where she previewed some of her recipes for her new book, “From Basic to Brilliant”. I couldn’t wait for it to be released. Virginia is a graduate of L’Academie de Cuisine and Ecole de Cuisine LaVarenne and, previously, was the Kitchen Director for Martha Stewart Living. Virginia expands on her incredible style in this 150 recipe cookbook where she offers incredible preparation and presentation techniques (her writing is amazing too). This recipe for Winter Greens and Butternut Squash Gratin is just one of the many stellar recipes in this book. I served it to company this weekend on a cold evening, and I received rave reviews. Her amazingly beautiful photos were taken by Helene Dujardin of Tartlette. “From Basic to Brilliant” can be found at Amazon or any of your favorite online stores as well as bookstores nationwide.
For a chance to win a copy, leave me a comment telling me why you want a copy of this book. Winner will be drawn on Thursday, November 10th and must be a U.S resident. For more chances, leave as many comments as you like telling me that you did the following:
1. Follow Alison Lewis on Twitter
2. Like Ingredients, Inc on Facebook
3. Follow Virginia Willis on Twitter
4. Like Virginia Willis on Facebook
“Reprinted with permission from Basic to Brilliant, Y’all: 150 Refined Southern Recipes and Ways to Dress Them Up for Company by Virginia Willis, copyright © 2011. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.”
Photo credit: Helene Dujardin © 2011
When I saw the cover of Southern Living Magazine last month, I knew this very special Apple Bundt Cake with Praline Frosting had to be on my dessert table for the Jewish holiday, Rosh Hashanah. Thanks to my sister, Julie and her friend, Toby, my wish came true. This recipe rocks! What else can I really say? The entire issue of the magazine really does. So many recipes, so little time….I hope if you’re looking for a sinfully gorgeous Apple Cake to make, you’ll choose this one with Southern Flair (my kids loved the Praline Frosting). Happy New Year to those celebrating (and those who aren’t :)).
This is not one of my typical “lightened-up” recipes, but I had to share these Any Occasion Chocolate Cupcakes with you. My daughter, Leigh, made this recipe for me the night I arrived home from being in Italy for a week. I was so excited to come home to my family and true comfort food. These are so spectacular. You don’t even need to make homemade icing. I wanted to post the recipe for Father’s Day, but I was traveling again this past week. I realized that this recipe is perfect for so many occasions: Father’s Day, birthdays, parties, showers or just because. I thought they would be a great way to start off the week so enjoy.
My friend, Steven, called last night and said he was having relatives in Wednesday before Thanksgiving. He asked me for a food favor. He said they were preparing a Mexican-themed menu, and asked me to help him with a recipe for a Pomegranate Margarita which was highly requested by his wife, Bridget. I thought this sounded like a really nice idea since many of us will be entertaining family and friends next week. This recipe has the right mix of tequila, Triple Sec and pomegranate juice. I just recommend using my ultimately favorite “Patron Silver” for the tequila.
Prep: 5 minutes
Yield: 8 servings
Salt or sugar for the rim
8 ounces white tequila
4 ounces Triple Sec
1 cup pomegranate juice
2 limes, juiced (optional)
1/2 cup club soda
1. Pour salt or sugar onto a plate or shallow dish. With a lime wedge rub along the rim of a glass and dip glasses upside down to salt the rim. Fill glasses with ice. In a cocktail shaker with ice place the tequila, triple sec, pomegranate juice, and lime juice. Pour into the salt-rimmed glasses and top off with club soda. Garnish with a lime wedges, if desired.
For tequila, see www.patronspirits.com